Academic Travel: Southern Spain

^^ Granada's Alahambara palace in the background

I’m not quite sure how I made it this far, but I just finished my FINAL academic travel! What?! 

I’m having one of those pinch-me-I’m-not-really-graduating moments. Somehow it just didn’t really hit me until it was over that this was my final academic travel at Franklin, and that in the “real" world I won’t get to go gallivanting across the globe for two weeks every six months. 

Of course I’m excited for this next step in life, but Academic Travel has been a highlight of my time at Franklin and I’m certainly sad to see it come to an end. 
^^ The mountain village of Ronda that is featured in chapter 10 of Ernest Hemingway's novel 'For Whom the Bell Tolls'

Traveling for two weeks in the Andalusian region of southern Spain was a certainly nice ending to cap off my travels though! This is one of my closest travels geographically and maybe not as distant of a destination as you might expect a senior to pick for their final travel, but I was ready for a little more relaxed pace, less travel time, and some sun, so Spain fit the bill perfectly! 

^^ The view of Sevilla from the top of the cathedral

Our trip, led by Professor Saveau, was focused on the cross-cultural influences in the region, primarily looking at the interplay between Arab and christian populations throughout the centuries as the north African Moors conquered the region for a while and the area had sultans and Arab palaces before it had cathedrals and the Spanish inquisition. We saw so much beautiful architecture, ate a ton of tapas and gelato, and enjoyed the mostly sunny weather and palm trees! 

^^ flowers in a courtyard in Cordoba 

Travel Highlights included...

Mezquita, the mosque turned into a cathedral in Cordoba 

Eating way too many churros con chocolate 

Learning about Corrida / visiting a bull farm and Spain’s oldest bull fighting ring in Ronda 

All the traditional Arab architecture in the old palaces, mosques and other buildings we visited 

Taking a flamenco dancing lesson and then attending a performance in Seville

Visiting an olive oil farm where we learned about the production of olive oil as well as sampled different oils 
^^ I bought this Madagascar vanilla infused olive oil there for my mom for her birthday, which occurred over Academic Travel!

And then ending the trip with a beach day in Malaga!
^^ I know this looks too good to be real, but I saw the people building it, not a fake sand castle! 

Before this trip I had only been to Barcelona in Spain, but now I have a whole new appreciation of Spanish culture after spending the last 10 days in Andalusia. It is a really unique, beautiful region of Spain that I can definitely recommend now! 

I am so grateful that my education at Franklin has afforded me the opportunity to explore amazing places like these. It just reminds me how different of a university experience Franklin is!

^^ view of the alahambara from the gardens in Granada

^^ View of Granada city center from the Alahambara 

-- Jessica 

PS want to read more? Here are some links to blog posts of my past Academic Travels! 
Iceland (Fall 2014) / Iceland part 1, Iceland part 2  
Former Yugoslavia (Fall 2013) / Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia, Montenegro 
Rome & Southern Italy (Spring 2013) / Paestum, PompeiiRomeVatican CityAmalfi Coast


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